The Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation intends to increase its check-off on the CEB bill we pay by a whole 50%. Although there is an exemption for those paying minimum CEB rates, the increase is exorbitant, if you bear in mind the number of work sectors where wages are very low. The MBC is particularly badly placed to claim more funds from the public, because:
- The MBC TV and Radio news reports are not prepared in the interests of the public, but in the interests of the political parties in power. The local news has become pure propaganda for the Labour Party. The international news is just a reproduction of the imperialist lines spun out from the USA and Europe, and does not even reflect the position of the Mauritian state when it is, in rare cases, brave enough to hold positions different from these powers.
- Opposition parties and extra-Parliamentary political currents are not covered in the news bulletins much at all, unless it is, for some reason, in the interests of the ruling parties to cover their activities. The Parliamentary opposition parties get a once-a-week press conference report, often very selective, while parties like LALIT are so often ignored that we end up deciding not to even invite the MBC.
- LALIT also objects to what we consider the suspicious amount of filming done of events the MBC TV does cover, when often it comes with a one minute report or fails to broadcast its filming at all.
- The MBC acts in this biased way despite the MBC Act stipulating that the Corporation “provide independent and impartial broadcasting services of information …” and “observe neutrality and impariality on current affairs, matters of public policy; or matters of controversy …”
- The mother-tongues are still not properly represented. In addition, the way in which Kreol is spoken –in a totally French grammar – is unacceptable, and degrades Kreol, transforming it into a “patois”.
In fact, it is also high time for the Government to come forward with a Freedom of Information Act that gives citizens the right to information. This has already been proposed in the Geoffrey Robertson Report.
10 July, 2013.